<br /> Lee Letter: n470

Washington and Lee University

Sender: James Lovell
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

The Key you sent will not explain a Letter of Doctr. Lee of Paris Aug. 31.
1778 nor will the Dictionary that has, at last, been delivered to the
Committee for forgn. affairs. I hope you can assist me, tho’ I rather
think that yr Brother has lately sent some other Key, which may have
been lost. I give you the first Paragraph.2

“Gent: It has been hinted to me that there will be two important subjects
of {negotiation}3 with the {Spanish Court}
upon which I beg to have the {Orders} of {Congress}.

“1st. Providing the {Spanish Navy} with {Masts} at a stipulated and as
reasonable a Price as possible.

“2d. The {Cession} of {Florida} should it be {conquer’d} to them.

“For this they would {stipulate}, whenever {peace} is {concluded} to
furnish the {fund} for {sink}ing all or great part of the {paper}.

“I cannot presume to proceed at all on these {proposition}s without express
{instruction}. In the mean Time what further Lights I can obtain shall
be communicated immediately.

“I have the honor to be &c.”


Receiver’s copy, Lee Family Papers, University of Virginia Library. In
Lovell’s hand, with deciphered words interlined in the hand of
Richard Henry Lee.

1 This date has been assigned because the original of Arthur Lee’s 31 August
letter to the committee for foreign affairs that Lovell transcribed
here for Richard Henry is endorsed: “recd. Feb. 16. 79.” PCC item 83,
1:278 – 81. It seems probable that Lovell sent it to Lee to be
deciphered soon after it was received by the committee.

2 In fact, Lovell provided the entire letter. See Wharton, Diplomatic

3 Words printed in braces in this text were written by Lovell in cipher and
deciphered by Lee.